Short Layover in Abu Dhabi

Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Monday, February 2, 2009

The cheapest flight we found was on Etihad Airways, and we had heard nothing but good things about the airlines operating out of the Middle East like Emirates.  Then one of my clients rode Etihad to London and confirmed that it was decadent, even in economy.  So we booked our $1400 flight home and decided for that much we'd have to stay in the States for several months.

The airline was awesome.  Each seat had a private screen, which was essentially hooked up to on-demand entertainment.  They had more than 100 movies that you could start and stop at will, plus 50 TV shows, all kinds of music (I jammed to Arabic pop), music videos, and games.  The first 6-hour flight to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates flew by.  It's also cool because we flew over some hotspots that are in the news every once in a while.  There was something surreal about flying over Iraq and near Pakistan and Afghanistan.  I watched the little picture of the plane flying across the map trying to imagine what was going on 40,000 feet below.  I had just read a Salman Rushdie book about Kashmir, and so I had some interesting imagery of Pakistan and Afghanistan, along with the news footage of the past few decades.  It's obviously a selective depiction of these places, but realistic nonetheless.  It made for a strange couple of hours, particularly while traveling in such luxury.

We also chose Etihad because it would take us West instead of back over the Pacific.  So when we arrive back in Texas, we'll have circled the globe.  2 years, around the world.  That's something.

The airport in Abu Dhabi was interesting, but not as impressive as I've heard Dubai's is.  And we didn't see the city at all, so it's not much of a visit to the Mid East.  Maybe we'll layover on the way back and do some falconry.  
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